Minutes will be posted when they are received.
Author: Franklin Local
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A special meeting of the Franklin Town Board was called to order by Supervisor Jeff Taggart at 6:07 PM. Present were Jeff Taggart, Garret Sitts, David Grant, Donnie Smith and Dwight Bruno. Also present were Chris Downin, Don Hebbard, Tony Breuer, Pete Bevilacqua , Dave Ohman and John Peterson.
Dave Ohman and John Peterson gave a presentation and answered questions about the proposed addition for town offices.
There was discussion where the offices should be located. Chris Downin offered doing some kind of agreement with his property on Main Street.
With no other issues to come before the board Garret Sitts made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:18 PM. Donnie Smith seconded the motion. All present agreed.
Sonja Johns, Town Clerk
Video Recording of meeting:
The regular meeting of the Franklin Town Board was called to order by Supervisor Jeff Taggart at 6:05 PM. Present were Jeff Taggart, Garret Sitts, David Grant, Donnie Smith, Dwight Bruno, Mark Laing and Paul Warner. Also present were Jamie Archibald, Roger Reed, Neil Carpenter, Bill Gruber, Helen McLean, Sara Andros , and Mike Wallace.
|The meeting dates for 2019 are:|
|February 5, 2019||6:00||Franklin|
|March 5, 2019||6:00||Treadwell|
|April 2, 2019||7:30||Franklin|
|May 7, 2019||7:30||Franklin|
|June 4, 2019||7:30||Treadwell|
|July 2, 2019||7:30||Franklin|
|August 6, 2019||7:30||Franklin|
|September 3, 2019||7:30||Treadwell|
|October 1, 2019||7:30||Franklin|
|November 6, 2019||6:00||Franklin|
|December 3, 2019||6:00||Treadwell|
The board will adopt a sexual harassment policy as soon as possible with training by October.
|Appointments for 2019 as follows:|
|Fiscal Officer||Jeff Taggart|
|Deputy Fiscal Officer||Paul Warner|
|Deputy Town Supervisor||Garret Sitts|
|Deputy Hwy Superintendant||Jamie Archibald|
|Deputy Town Clerk||Teddy Storey|
|Court Clerk||Jan Schlafer|
|Health Officer||Gregg Kujawski|
|Code Enforcement Officer||Mark Jacobs|
|Town Attorney||Cheryl Sacco|
|Planning Board Chairman||Dan Schlafer|
|Town Historian||Lora Foster Cave|
|Town Board Rep Planning Bd||Jeff Taggart|
|Town Board Rep Rec Comm||David Grant & Garret Sitts|
|Town Board Rep Kellogg Found||Dwight Bruno|
|Official Newspaper||The Reporter|
|Official Bank||Wayne Bank, Franklin Office|
David Grant made the motion to approve the appointment. Dwight Bruno seconded the motion. All present agreed.
Mark Laing reported that the qualified abandonment paperwork is here and needs to be signed. It will be filed with the county.
The bid for grader last month was not successful.
Bids for Harmon P43pellet stove were opened. They were :
Steve Haney $660.00
Derrick Hoyt $125.00
Garret Sitts made the motion to accept Steve Haney’s bid of $660.00.
Dave Grant seconded the motion. All present agreed.
Bid for the boiler was Derrick Hoyt $150.00
Garret Sitts made the motion to reject the bid. David Grant seconded the motion. All present agreed.
There was no business for the planning board for December 2018 or January 2019.
Neil Carpenter gave a presentation from Morton Buildings for the proposed addition to town building.
Jeff appointed Dwight Bruno and Donnie Smith to audit the town books.
There was a discussion of some issues on Schoolhouse Rd.
With nothing further to come before the board, Garret Sits made motion to adjourn at 7:26 PM. David Grant seconded the motion. All present agreed.
Video Recording of meeting:
The regular meeting of the Franklin Town Board was called to order by Supervisor Jeff Taggart at 7:30 P.M. Present were Jeff Taggart, Garret Sitts, David Grant, Donnie Smith, Dwight Bruno, Mark Laing and Paul Warner. Also present were Dave Tuthill, Mary Burns, Tony Breuer, Mike Wallace, Ella Davison, Chris Davison, Gail Robinson, James Carmody, Pete Nero, Roger Reed.
Dawn Ritz submitted her resignation as of November 30, 2018. Garret Sitts made the motion to appoint Sonja Johns to finish Dawn’s term as Town Clerk, Tax Collector and Registrar. David Grant seconded the motion. All present agreed.
The public hearing was opened for the 2019 Franklin Town budget was opened at 7:29 P.M. by Supervisor Jeff Taggart. With little discussion the public meeting was closed. Garret Sitts made a motion to go into the regular board meeting, seconded by David Grant at 7:33 P.M. Present were Jeff Taggart, Garret Sitts, David Grant, Donnie Smith, Dwight Bruno, Mark Laing and Paul Warner. Also present were Gary Arndt, Brian Brock, Don Hebbard, Tony Breuer, John Peterson, Dave Ohman, Jamie Archibald, Roger Reed, Molli Opramolla, Carol Jensen.
The minutes were read from the October 2 and October 16, 2018 meetings. David Grant made a motion to accept the minutes as read. Donnie Smith seconded the motion. All present agreed.
By Jessica Farrell
Thirteen years ago, a neighbor and I met with a local reporter to talk about the pervasive blight on Sidney Center’s Main Street. At that time, several dilapidated buildings in our tiny “downtown” had been spray-painted with racial slurs and swastikas. They remained that way for weeks. Years of absentee landlords had left these once grand structures as eyesores, dangerous havens for stray cats and straying kids. For me, the graffiti were the last straw in a string of insults that Sidney Center had suffered during my years living here. Frustrated, I started making phone calls to see what could be done. I connected with the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. Plans were made for them to facilitate a visioning workshop in Sidney Center. My kids and I passed out flyers and invited neighbors.
In 2006, residents gathered to discuss the future of our hamlet. We received a small Main Street grant for community barrels. Flowers were planted and a cleanup was organized. Flags were hung to display pride in our home village. People in the hamlet started meeting once a month to organize projects. In June of that year, the hamlet was hit hard by a devastating flood. We organized a bigger clean up. Our spirits were not dampened.
Several years later, the group became a nonprofit, the Sidney Center Improvement Group (SCIG). We continue to hold meetings on the second Tuesday of the month to address issues related to the environment, safety, and beautification of our hamlet. We organize free community events for all. It’s a hardworking group of neighbors that generously give their time and talent for the betterment of our home.
Through the years, SCIG members met with different code enforcers and supervisors about Main Street, to no avail. Life moved on. My kids grew up. I began to believe the buildings would outlast me. No one had answers, no one wanted to take responsibility, not the absentee landlords, not the town, not the county. As an unincorporated hamlet, our concerns are not a priority.
Blight greatly impacts the overall mindset of a community. It affects the children growing up and the people who visit. Community minded neighbors become frustrated and move away. For years, our Main Street represented hopelessness despite all our efforts.
This spring giant red X’s and police tape were placed on three Main Street buildings. I was told this was to warn firemen not to enter these structures in an emergency. Roofs caved in and exterior walls buckled. People became fearful one of these looming wooden relics might fall or a curious child might enter and drop through the floorboards.
Then, this summer, one building began to collapse. Even the structures had finally had enough. Within a few weeks, it looked like a bomb had fallen on Main Street. Thirteen years ago, I didn’t have the internet. This time, I sent a letter with photographs far and wide. The reporter who had met me on Main Street all those years ago returned. Suddenly people took notice. Neighbors spoke with the press. A “Support Main Street” petition calling for the demolition of three buildings circulated. It received 150 signatures.
On September 11th, Town of Sidney supervisor Gene Pigford met with the community at the Sidney Center Fire Station. Approximately sixty people came out to voice their concerns. The supervisor and town board members were empathetic to our plight. They were working to contact the building’s owners and bring closure to what had become a critical safety issue. Mr. Pigford assured us that the buildings would be taken down before winter 2018. Two days later, the Sidney Town Board unanimously passed a resolution to remove all three structures. I was overjoyed! At last these unsafe eyesores will be replaced with green space.
How did we get to this point? The cycle of neglect was decades in the making. Condemned properties are sold and resold at tax auctions, often sight unseen. There’s no plan in place for repairs. Codes are not enforced. The county and town get tax dollars and can wash their hands of any responsibility. Our Main Street is the final stop in the cycle. This is what decades of neglect and unaccountability look like. Ultimately, tax payers pay the price.
Despite a love of old architecture, I’ll be happy to see these places go. I imagine the future. Maybe next spring small trees and flowers can be planted in our new Main Street green space. Soon our general store will reopen after being closed for years. It’s time for Main Street Sidney Center to turn over a new leaf. Some of that rests in our leadership’s hands, some in ours. I believe our community has demonstrated that we’re willing to do our part.
The regular meeting of the Franklin Town Board was called to order by Supervisor Jeff Taggart at 7:31 P.M. Present were Jeff Taggart, Garret Sitts, David Grant, Donnie Smith, Dwight Bruno, Mark Laing and Paul Warner. Also present were Gary Arndt, Brian Brock, Tony Breuer, Daniel Coughlin, Dave Tuthill, Amanda Groff, Tyler Gregory, Janet Ibrahimovic, Collin Campbell, Peter Niebanck, Robert Eggler, Peter Nero, Roger Reed, Jamie Archibald, and Alexis Bellino.
The minutes were read from the September 4, 2018 meeting. Dave Grant made the motion to accept the minutes as read with the correction that the new service is not on the cell tower yet. Dwight Bruno seconded the motion and all present agreed.
The regular meeting of the Franklin Town Board was called to order by Supervisor Jeff Taggart at 7:35 P.M. Present were Jeff Taggart, Garret Sitts, David Grant, Dwight Bruno, Donnie Smith, Mark Laing and Paul Warner. Also present were Roger Reed, Brian Brock, Pete Nero, Tony Breuer, Dave Tuthill, Alan Lapp, Darryl Lapp, Don Hebbard, Jim Basile and Pat Rohan.
The minutes were read from the August 7, 2018 meeting. Garret Sitts made a motion to accept the minutes as read. David Grant seconded the motion and all present agreed.